The Wordmark Logo

Last updated: July 7, 2022

Wordmark vs. Logo Symbol?

Definition: A logo is a design element that helps identify an organization, company, or product. People often ask what the difference is between a logo and a wordmark. “Logo” is the catch-all term describing all sorts of visual marks.

A logo usually consists of two parts, a logo symbol (the little pictorial icon) and a wordmark (brand name set in a font). However, wordmarks are preferred for many industries such as design, fashion, beauty, and tech because they’re more minimal in style and look a bit cooler.

The way a logo is set or stacked is called a logo lockup. A logo can be set in a horizontal strip, the symbol is usually on the left of the wordmark, but it can also be to its right. A vertical lockup means the symbol is (usually) on top of the wordmark. Often, a logo has multiple lockups for different use cases, but the horizontal logo lockup is a must-have nowadays—a logo should look good in small on a website.

There are no absolute must-dos or don’ts, but good design is about function (is it readable? does it work in small? etc.). Designers weigh these functionalities against looks and decide what logo lockups are best.

wordmark vs logo
Logo symbol vs. wordmark difference.

Wordmark Examples

For inspiration, take a look at the logo wordmark examples below. From beauty and fashion wordmarks to tech products (digital or analog), these types of logos are modern.

When looking for fonts for logo designs, pick a typeface that reflects your brand positioning and stands out among your competitors.

wordmark examples
Different wordmark examples: L’Oreal, DKNY, Panasonic, Volvo, Dunkin’, Etsy, Vans, Revlon, Venmo, Stripe, Nest, and Google use wordmark logos.

Evolution of Wordmark Design

Within wordmark design itself, the trend for the past decade has been to use more geometric, grotesque (used synonymously for sans-serif fonts; when they first appeared, sans-serif fonts were considered ugly) fonts. Sans-serif fonts feel more approachable, younger, and no-fuss. They’re confident, straightforward, and simple.

Many designers and brand specialists commiserate this trend because historic brands lose their connection to heritage and, with it, brand recognition value.

sans serif logo trend
The sans serif logo trend persists. Minimalism has found its way into branding over a decade ago.

Logo, Wordmark—Basic and Modern: Design Applications

How to decide whether a logo should have a wordmark only or include a logo symbol? First, note that a wordmark alone doesn’t mean the mark’s design cannot be unique. The opposite is the case—when you’re going for a wordmark only, you must focus on making your logo memorable. You can turn the first (or any other letter or letter combos) into something that almost looks like a logo symbol.

wordmark logo difference
Wordmark logo difference and how to think about the applications.

Check out the letter B above. The first version shows a logo with a symbol, the second one is a basic wordmark (like Google), and the third one is the letter B in a design that stands out more from the rest of the font. The advantage of the third version is that this logo style is minimal, just like a wordmark but memorable when used in a collapsed way (a collapsed logo is a favicon or a profile image or sometimes called the avatar version of a logo).

wordmark ideas
Wordmark ideas

When designing a wordmark with a special letter that stands out, you’ll have to think about the meaning of the design. In the example above, look at the different letter B designs and note what they could mean. When looking at the examples from left to right, these thoughts come to mind: Is it a reflection or a ripple effect? Does it look like a little toy? Does it come together in the center, is it a pipe, cooling, warming, consisting of shapes, or is it the number 13?

During the design process, a designer plays around with all of these ideas to give meaning to the mark—whether it’s a logo symbol or the letter that gets transformed.

How to Use Mojomox for Workmark Ideas

For startups and small businesses it’s really hard to pay for a thorough design process and coming up with lots of different options. Designers have to spend a lot of time to come up with designs that work.

With the Mojomox wordmark logo maker, you can easily click through lots of different designs quickly. See if one of the letter alternates provides meaning to the work you do. What is your brand positioning (the one word customers think when they think of you)?

wordmark maker
Wordmark logo maker: type in your brand name, click on a letter and select an alternate design.
wordmark colors
Selecting a different color palette in the right-hand sidebar.
wordmark brandkit
A brandkit with all logo variations in different colors from the picked palette gets automatically generated. From there, logo files in custom sizes can be downloaded.

Often, it’s super simple to see when you see it :)

After you found a good match, use the font-weight sliders to adjust the thickness of the font. When you scroll down, your brand kit gets generated automatically—see how your logo looks in small before you finalize it.

As the last step, set your color palette by picking from the presets or customizing your own with the pickers. Make sure to make your primary color different from your competitors’ colors, so your target audience has an easier time remembering you.

To get started, type your brand name into the field below:


1. Type company name2. Select design3. Modify logo
⭣  Step 1: Type here

If you get stuck, no worries—I’m here to help. Send me a message via the red questions button in the bottom right corner or email me at saskia@mojomox.com. I’d love to hear from you.